South African black leader. He was born in July 1918 in Umtata, Transkei. His family is from the Tembu tribe, who speaks the Zosa (Xhosa) language. His father is Henry Mandela, the chief of this tribe.
Mandela; After his high school education, he entered Fort Hare University Collega. While he was studying here, he got involved in political events. He was suspended from the school for his involvement in and organizing a student boycott. Leaving Transkei, he went to Transvaal. Here he served as a police officer in the mines for a while. In the meantime, he continued his university education, which he left unfinished, by means of letter teaching. He graduated from the University of the Witwaterstrand in 1942 and started practicing law. He received the title of the country's first black lawyer. He joined the African National Congress (ANC) founded by the indigenous people against racial discrimination (1944). In a very short time, he was elected president of the Youth Union of the congress. He became one of the leaders of the black liberation movement (1948). Meanwhile, he founded Umkonto and Sizwe (National Spear), which undertook the armed struggle against racism and was the military wing of the congress, and became its president (1961).
He went abroad to seek support for himself in January 1962. . He traveled to England and African countries. He obtained arms and financial aid from African and socialist countries. On his return to the country, he was tried with his friends on charges of going abroad without permission, provoking the public, and organizing sabotage and assassinations. He argued that the people do not have to abide by the laws passed by the parliament where all are not represented and whites are represented. He was sentenced to life imprisonment by the white administration. With this behavior, he became the symbol and symbol of African blacks who fought against racial discrimination.
Nelson Mandela is known as the world's most famous prisoner. After being imprisoned for 27 years in South Africa in the 1980s, his name was heard when the struggle against racism intensified all over the world. He was released unconditionally in 1990 by President F. De Klerk. He was 71 years old when he was released. Many whites, as well as South African blacks, rejoiced at his release. Mandela's; “Struggle is my life. I will fight for black independence for the rest of my life.” His saying made him a flag among the people. He still continues his struggle. (1993)
Mandela was awarded the Nehrü Prize in 1979, the Brunu Kreisky Prize for Human Rights in 1981, and the UNESCO Simon Bolivar Prize in 1983. However, he did not accept the 1992 Atatürk Peace Prize, which was decided to be given to him by the Government of the Republic of Turkey.